Fall Soaps: Pumpkin Lager w/ Beer

September 29, 2016

I’m a pumpkin fan…especially when it comes to pumpkin and baked goods!  This is probably my favorite pumpkin scent of all the pumpkins I’ve tried in the past years and of the ones I’ve made this year (which include: spiced pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and pumpkin lager).  Of course I had to make this soap with beer😀.

Wholesale Supplies Plus describes it:

A seasonal malt blend of fresh picked pumpkin, nutmeg and finishing notes of fermented warm vanilla.

So yummy!  This is another one that I knew would morph. I added orange mica to it so the soap didn’t become dark brown but has that orange hue to it.  Then I stamped it with a like orange mica and it really pops!

Prior to discoloration:

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I actually think the soap looks better fully cured and with the darker brown orange.  It makes the stamp stand out more.

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Fall Soaps: Oatmeal Stout w/ Beer

September 22, 2016

I love this scent.  I’ve used it once before, and I don’t know why I stopped using it.  It’s just down right yummy!  Bramble Berry describes the fragrance as follows:

This fragrance smells positively edible! It’s a full bodied and smooth beer fragrance blended with Creamy Oatmeal, Orange Peel, Butterscotch, Farm-fresh Milk, Nutty Almond and Rich Vanilla.

I knew the vanilla content was high and I planned my design accordingly.  The white layer is unscented.  The dark brown layer has no color (the fragrance did all the coloring there).  Then the top layer I used TD.  With the vanilla it ended up a medium brown.  I added mica lines between each later (in hopes of preventing some of the bleeding of fragrance (and hence color morphing) into the white later.

As a side note:  Look at this soap just after I cut it and what the finished soap ended up looking like.  Crazy how much it darkened!

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Just after I cut the soap.

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Piping Challenge

September 16, 2016

I started this challenge with the idea to do a flower scene. Then I read the “rules” for entering and I realized my idea wouldn’t meet those requirements.  Bummed I played around with some random piping of flowers, but I was uninspired and didn’t like what I was doing. And may I mention I REALLY REALLY REALLY dislike piping flowers.  I don’t know what it is about them, but they’re not fun for me. Yes, they’re pretty and people like them, but it’s like having a tooth pulled for me–NOT FUN!

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I was almost ready to call it quits and just say forget about it, when I remembered years and years ago I did some mini soaps of Oscar and Cookie Monster.  Remaking those as large versions appealed to me and I was re-inspired to making something.  What follows is the process it took to make these.  Way too much work and not something I plan to make more of, but for the challenge they were fun.

*UPDATE* I still couldn’t entered my character soaps. When entering I realized it also said “no embellishments” so that takes my character soaps out of the running. Don’t know where my brain’s been lately!

Since I was making a “face” I needed to pre-make several pieces: eyes, mouth, and cookies.  I did these by pouring soap into a circle mold, unmolding, and then slicing them in thin pieces and then cutting those pieces in half (for the cookies and mouths).

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Next I made the base of the characters.  Gray for Oscar (since he is sitting in his garbage can) and brown for Cookie Monster (because I didn’t want an all blue soap).  I filled the base only half way (I used two different cupcake molds because I like the different effects for each character).  Then I piped their bodies.

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I used tip 233 to make their “fur” or body.  Because we had to use at least two tones in one element of piping I did two different color greens for Oscar, which I love how they turned out.  And two different blues (light and a dark) for Cookie, but the blues kind of melded together and there’s not a lot of distinction between them. I was a little bummed over that, but they still look cute.

After piping their tops I then embedded the eyes, mouth, and cookies.

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From there I had to pipe the eye balls on the white eye pieces.  I used tip 10.  I also had to pipe the eye brows for Oscar.  I used tip 16.  Lastly I had to pipe the “tongue” on to Oscar’s mouth.  I used tip 3 for that.

Overall I really like them.  They’re cute.  They’re different.  But best of all they’re not flowers😉.

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I had had some left over soap from another batch of embeds I was making and so I just poured it into some round mold cavities I had.  I didn’t know what to do with them.  I had leftover soap better for Oscar and Cookie and I was like I’ll pipe the rest on top of the extra round soaps.  I liked it. More so than the cupcake ones.  If I ever do anything like this again I’ll probably use that as a base as opposed to cupcake holders.

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And a bonus: Mummies!  I had left over soap again from a different batch and I knew I was going to be piping for the challenge so I made black bases, know I could turn them into mummies.  It’s made me really tempted to make other Halloween faces now like pumpkins, monsters, and whatever else I can think up!

 

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And there you have it: my piped soaps.


Fall Soaps: Loganberry & Sage

September 15, 2016

Pulled out my raspberry/blackberry molds for this one.  This year I was big into contrasting colors.  I new I wanted green, but I needed something bold too.  I went with a purple/pink color that definitely makes a pop!

Lebermuth describes the fragrance as:

Berries complimented with a sprinkle of fresh sage for a whole new berry blend.

This one I used dusted embeds again.  I used the purple to coat green embeds and embeded them in a white portion of soap.  Then I embeded berries on top and pipped little leaves on each berry.  So much work…but worth it.  I was really happy with this soap.

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Seaweed Soap

September 12, 2016

Seaweed!  NDA describes seaweed as follows:

Ascophyllum nodosum – a brown seaweed commonly known as knotted, knobbed or bladder wrack, or kelp – is one of many species which form part of the botanical order or algae.

I dislike the smell of seaweed.  So why I had this burning desire to use it in my soap I’m not sure, but I did.  The seaweed powder isn’t too bad (smell wise), but the instant it gets “wet” – as in it mixes with the oils/lye or the bar itself is used after it’s cured – it stinks!  That, I realize, is probably a personal opinion that not everyone will agree with me on, but I think seaweed stinks.  Even NDA describes it as having a “pungent odor.” (Notice they had a much nicer way of saying it stinks! Ha!)

Appearance: Greenish brown powder with a strong pungent odor.

New Directions Aromatics says the following about seaweed:

Benefits: Seaweed Powder is a rich source of vitamins including vitamins B12 (not found in land plants), vitamin E, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients. Seaweed powder makes for an effective cleansing and exfoliating agent. When applied to the skin, Seaweed treatments act as a powerful detoxifier that draws out toxins and impurities while adding beneficial nutrients. It helps to stimulate the body’s metabolism and circulation which gives skin a healthy, revitalize and glowing appearance. Seaweed contains fatty acids to combat skin irritation and inflammation; and may assist with skin ailments such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. Seaweed Powder is suitable for all skin types.

Application: Seaweed Powder can be used in face masks, detoxifying body wraps, soap making, body scrubs and bath powders.

Caution: Persons with an allergy to iodine should avoid using this product. This powder has a strong pungent odor that some may find offensive, so test product before using.

I don’t know what it was that initially made me want to use it in my soap.  I just know about a year ago I had the urge.  And I think after reading the benefits of seaweed I was sold.  I mean did you read the above benefits?  It just makes me sigh in delight when I read about all that natural goodness!  So, while I might dislike the smell I love it in my facial soap.

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These are the facial bars. Large and a travel size.

I couldn’t leave it at a facial bar though, no!  I decided to make a batch of body soap with seaweed. I scented it with eucalyptus and peppermint (two rather strong essential oils) hoping it would subdue the seaweed smell. I can’t say it does, but I think if you dislike a smell you pick it up more than any other smell.  The bar itself is a very nice bar!

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This bar smells like eucalyptus, peppermint, and seaweed! There’s no getting around that smell!

If you’re interested in trying some in your soap I used it at similar usage rates to clay.

I used about ½ to 1 teaspoon per pound of soap.  I premix it with a little bit of distilled water, but I’ve also just added it straight to my oils and used the stick blender to mix it in with great results.

I can say I love it in my facial soap!  I can’t quite deal with the smell as a body soap, though it is a nice bar.  And I haven’t been brave enough to make a mask of it yet. 😉

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Fall Soaps: Rice Milk

September 8, 2016

This is a flower scent.  Probably not what most people will expect from the name of the fragrance. I went with it because other soapers at the conference really loved it.  I can’t be trusted when it comes to floral scents because I dislike most.

Here’s how Lebermuth describes it:

Soft, sheer milky floral fragrance.

I think that’s about as accurate a description as you’ll get.  It’s unlike many other scents I’ve smelled before and I think overall it will appeal to the flower liking crowd.

I wanted blue for this soap.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it as I knew the fragrance would discolor (just wasn’t sure how much).  I worked the design to be a deep blue/gold/white theme (hoping to work with the fragrance if it did discolor too much.  A lot of work to make, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Here are some behind the scene photos!

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Unscented white soap, chopped up into tiny cubes.

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Embeds where then dusted in Gold Mica.

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I did a dark blue bottom layer then added the dusted embeds on top of them. From there I’d pour the second layer (a lighter blue).

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To finish it off a gold mica swirl on top (to pull everything together.

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Fall Soaps

September 7, 2016

It’s that time again: Fall Soaps are here!  What did I make this year?

Some classics are returning:

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Turkish Mocha
  • Almond Biscotti
  • Applejack Peel

And some new ones of course were added:

  • Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee
  • Plum Spice
  • Hawaiian Jasmine
  • Cranberry Fig
  • Autumn Woods
  • Rice Milk
  • Loganberry & Sage
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Pumpkin Lager

I can tell you right now I was disappoint with my Cinnamon & Hazelnut, Hawaiian Jasmine, and Autumn Woods soaps.  They totally didn’t work how I wanted them to.  And that frustrates me.  I’m not even bothering with special posts for them!  You can see all the (not so glorious) creations here:

Autumn Woods

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Hawaiian Jasmine

jasmine1Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee

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